Julia Jacklin, Christian Lee Hutson

36 Og
Courtesy of Terminal West
Tuesday October 8, 2019 07:00 pm EDT
Cost: $16-$18
The second full-length album from Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin, ​Crushing embodies  every possible meaning of its title word. It’s an album formed from sheer intensity of feeling, an  in-the-moment narrative of heartbreak and infatuation. And with her storytelling centered on bodies  and crossed boundaries and smothering closeness, ​Crushingr eveals how our physical experience of  the world shapes and sometimes distorts our inner lives. “This album came from spending two years touring and being in a relationship, and feeling like I  never had any space of my own,” says the Melbourne-based artist. “For a long time I felt like my  head was full of fear and my body was just this functional thing that carried me from point A to B,  and writing these songs was like rejoining the two.” The follow-up to her 2016 debut ​Don’t Let the Kids Win, ​Crushing finds Jacklin continually  acknowledging what’s expected of her, then gracefully rejecting those expectations. As a result, the  album invites self-examination and a possible shift in the listener’s way of getting around the  world—an effect that has everything to do with Jacklin’s ​openness about her own experience. “I used to be so worried about seeming demanding that I’d put up with anything, which I think is  common—you want to be chill and cool, but it ends up taking so much of your emotional energy,”  says Jacklin. “Now I’ve gotten used to calling out things I’m not okay with, instead of just burying  my feelings to make it easier on everyone. I’ve realized that in order to keep the peace, you have to  speak up for yourself and say what you really want.” Produced by Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, The Drones) and recorded at The Grove Studios (a  bushland hideaway built by INXS’ Garry Gary Beers), ​Crushing sets Jacklin’s understated defiance  against a raw yet luminous sonic backdrop. “In all the songs, you can hear every sound from every  instrument; you can hear my throat and hear me breathing,” she says. “It was really important to me  that you can hear everything for the whole record, without any studio tricks getting in the way.” On the album-opening lead single “Body,” Jacklin proves the power of that approach, turning out a  mesmerizing vocal performance even as she slips into the slightest murmur. A starkly composed  portrait of a breakup, the song bears an often-bracing intimacy, a sense that you’re right in the room  with Jacklin as she lays her heart out. And as “Body” ​wanders and drifts, Jacklin ​establishes ​Crushing  as an album that exists entirely on its own time, a work that’s willfully unhurried. From there, ​Crushing shifts into the slow-building urgency of “Head Alone,” a pointed and  electrifying anthem of refusal (sample lyric: “​I don’t want to be touched all the time/I raised my  body up to be mine”).​ “As a woman, in my case as a touring musician, the way you’re touched is  different from your male bandmates—by strangers and by those close to you,” notes Jacklin. On the  full-tilt, harmony-spiked “Pressure to Party,” she pushes toward another form of emotional  freedom. “When you come out of a relationship, there’s so much pressure to act a certain way,” says  Jacklin. “First it’s like, ‘Oh, you’ve gotta take some time for yourself’…but then if you take too  much time it’s, ‘You’ve gotta get back out there!’ That song is just my three-minute scream, saying  I’m going to do what I need to do, when I need to do it.” ​Crushing also shows Jacklin’s autonomy on  songs like “Convention,” an eye-rolling dismissal of unsolicited advice, presented in elegantly  sardonic lyrics (“I ​can tell you won’t sleep well, if you don’t teach me how to do it right”).
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21a31 Terminal West Magnum
887 West Marietta St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 876-5566